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    Astronomer at U. Florida Calls Racial and Gender Diversity ‘Nonsense’

    Astronomer at U. Florida Calls Racial and Gender Diversity ‘Nonsense’

    “[N]on-blacks in this country are supposed to have Communist-style sessions where we put on sackcloth and ashes for our sin of ‘white privilege’ and grovel”

    https://twitter.com/JasonFuhrmann3/status/1269493917130666049
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    The mob is going to coming for him.

    BuzzFeed News reports:

    A University Of Florida Astronomer Called Racial And Gender Diversity “Nonsense”

    On June 10, as thousands of researchers across the world stopped work to protest racism in science, a University of Florida astronomy professor railed against calls for greater diversity in the field, telling his department that he didn’t believe systemic racism existed in academia except for the “pernicious” effects that “identity politics” has on admissions and hiring.

    The professor emeritus, Haywood Smith, who is white, wrote in an email to students and faculty that he could not “recall ever seeing any systemic pattern of discrimination against blacks.” And he likened the ongoing protests against racial injustice to “street mobs like the ones from the time of the Weimar Republic,” the German government that preceded the Nazi regime.

    “[N]on-blacks in this country are supposed to have Communist-style sessions where we put on sackcloth and ashes for our sin of ‘white privilege’ and grovel,” he wrote, adding: “Well, count me out.”

    Smith’s message stirred anger within the department at the same time that similar messages were circulating inside the astronomy department of another university, Yale. As BuzzFeed News reported last week, retired professors there questioned on a mailing list whether systemic racism existed in their department because they’d hired one Black administrative employee 35 years ago.

    The conflicts reflect a stark diversity problem within the field of astronomy at large. A 2018 survey of the American Astronomical Society — which includes undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members, and retired astronomers — found that 82% of members identified as white and only 2% as Black or African American.

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    Comments



     
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    tom_swift | June 28, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    The professor emeritus, Haywood Smith

    Emeriti and retirees are in better positions than most to survive criticism of groupthink.


     
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    Milhouse | June 28, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    The conflicts reflect a stark diversity problem within the field of astronomy at large. A 2018 survey of the American Astronomical Society — which includes undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members, and retired astronomers — found that 82% of members identified as white and only 2% as Black or African American.

    And why is this a problem?


     
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    Iain Sanders | June 28, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    A new Star swims into view – but right beside a Massive Black Hole..

    Why are we trying to force the round peg into the square hole.
    If a black student does not have an interest Astronomy do we force them to pursue that degree and to what end? My wife is the Director of a Physicians Assistant Program, she says her students that are pre-med majors do great but the kids who took the pre-requisites but were other than science majors really struggle. They ask for all kind on concessions, they cannot write a paper or think critically. Education is becoming a disaster except for the sciences. It’s a shame.


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